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Beating the Odds

When Discouragement Strikes

Friday marked the 18th birthday of “Success Hotline,” a daily motivational phone recording from Dr. Rob Gilbert.

In those messages, which number more than 6,000, one stands out for me. Dr. Gilbert tells the story of a strongman who can bend an iron bar. At first the bar won’t move. That’s when things change. The strongman seems to go to another level of effort and intensity, and soon the bar looks more like a horseshoe.

Dr. Gilbert offers the moral of the story: when things get difficult, champions don’t get discouraged. They get excited.

How about you? When you hit obstacles, what happens to your energy level? Randy Pausch, who gave brilliant lectures before succumbing to pancreatic cancer, said this:

“Brick walls are there for a reason. The brick walls are not there to keep us out. The brick walls are there to show how badly we want something. Because the brick walls are there to stop the people who don’t want something badly enough. They are there to keep out the other people.”

No matter what obstacles are in front of you, remember the strongman. It’s not time to get discouraged. It’s time to get excited.

Dr. Gilbert’s hotline number is (973) 743-4690.


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